It's our 25th wedding anniversary and I've got to write what's on my heart. If I don't, the enormity of it will make my broken, tearful heart burst at it's seams. I'm raw. Not because of me, or my story. But because I carry the story of the one's I've welcomed into my heart, my family, and my home.
Twenty-five years ago I was a naïve, barely turned 20 year old, with the world at my fingertips. I had dreams. Dreams Marty and I shared. Dreams of careers. Dreams of using our money wisely. Dreams of saving for that big trip. Just the two of us. In fact, we chose to have a simple one week honeymoon to Vancouver Island, so that at year 10, or 15 we could go on that big vacation.
As the date of this anniversary approached, I struggled with feeling sorry for myself. That big vacation just wasn't going to happen. Like it didn't happen for our 10th or 15th anniversary. I tried to console myself by thinking about the short trip we took to Quebec City for our 20th anniversary. It wasn't the trip to Europe that I had long dreamt about, but it was the closest thing to it right here in Canada.
By this morning, I'd determined to make the best of it. The snow was falling. It was downright miserable, but in my cozy house it was warm and comfortable. To top it off, the inexpensive, low quality used hot tub we bought felt amazing!! There's nothing quite like sitting in a steaming hot tub while the snow falls!
We proceeded with our day as usual....and then the sorrow began to ooze. Not from me, but from one of my kids. I won't go into detail about what happened, but for those of you that know anything about trauma...you know it wasn't pretty! It was downright frustrating! Downright annoying! I struggled to keep my cool. ( and that's exhausting!!!)
And then...Marty finally figured out what was happening. This morning he showed the kids some pictures of our last trip to China.
We looked at one picture in particular and saw the deep, deep sorrow in the depths of her eyes. We know she saw that sorrow too. And not only did she see it...she felt it as if it were today! We may never know what she was/is feeling. Perhaps it's not having a voice for so many years. Perhaps it's the years of sitting on a bench watching the other kids run and jump. Perhaps it's the memory of being told she's ugly. Perhaps it's the memory of being told she's stupid. Perhaps it's the memory of being physically hurt. Perhaps it's knowing what she has all lost.
And in the bedtime tears we tried to vocalize for her what she may be feeling. Reaffirmed we are hers forever! And prayed without words...just pure emotion! Prayed like our lives depended on it! And honestly, it does! We could not love, could not show compassion if it wasn't for the One who loved us first. The One that holds us and gives us strength that we know we don't have.
And in it all, I realized that a trip to my dreamed Italy has nothing on my life with my kids! It's such a selfish sorrow that I felt. It makes me realize that I want to be more like my kids...with all the awful life has dealt them...they keep smiling...they keep loving...they keep living life to the fullest!
So.....If life has handed you a whole lot of ugly, a whole lot of sorrow...I'd recommend you find someone to lavish your love on...someone that life has dealt a whole lot more awful than you ever experienced. Cause in that, you will find your life is pretty darn near perfect!